How Not To Plan
66 ways to screw it up
The book is now available to buy for all kindle editions and we hope you enjoy it.
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How Not To Plan is the book I wish I’d had when I started out as a planner. Admittedly life was somewhat simpler then: Just the 4 main media for a start, a lot of quite good quality research to lean on, a far less complicated marketing world to operate in, and by extension a far more limited set of tasks for the aspiring strategist. The demands on today's planners and strategists are infinitely greater and the world is fabulously complex by comparison. And we are all continuously assailed by competing and often entirely fallacious theories about how marketing and advertising work. How to navigate this world effectively?
The central thing about planning, is that there is no one answer or way of doing things. You have to be an entrepreneurial, as well as a long term thinker. And you have to apply your imagination, understanding and analysis in different measures according to the problem at hand. So in the sink or swim world of planners, strategists and their clients, now more than ever, there is a need for a practical handbook to guide us through all the main parts of the process.
And thanks to Les Binet and Sarah Carter at adam&eveDDB we now have just that. The original inspiration for this book was a set of articles that they wrote for Admap over 6 years. In these they set out to bust a lot of myths and nonsense that
swirl around marketing and communications by using evidence-based approaches and interesting examples to make their points.
We’ve been working with them over the last year to turn this treasure chest of wisdom into a practical guide. We’ve called it How Not To Plan in reference to its myth busting antecedents and in homage to an old but much loved set of essays published back in 1979 in an APG book called ’How to Plan Advertising’.
The How Not to Plan of 2018 is a manageably sized handbook which leaves room for your scribbles and notes and can be read as a guide or used as a constant helpful reference point whenever you’re stuck on what to do next, need help working out what you’re supposed to do at all, or are grasping for examples to prove a point or get a client to understand your thinking.
It’s loosely based on the Planning Cycle and is grouped into themes that are important at different stages in the process, covering everything from how to set objectives, the 4 Ps, research and analysis, to briefing, creative work and media and effectiveness. It should offer trusty guide to any problem that crosses your desk in the first years of your career.
At the end of each chapter you’ll find a simple 2-minute checklist for how to do it better, a short case study showing how it’s done brilliantly, a space for your notes and further reading for the intellectually gifted…
You can order a copy here. APG Members get a 20% off discount when ordering 5 or more copies. To receive your code, please email Lexi - email@example.com or call the office on +44(0)208 858 0707.
"How do I know my wishes have come true? Well just yesterday, I unleashed their ‘How not to deal with alienation’ (Chapter 5) on an over-anxious client. It worked."
Founder at Krow Communications
Read Malcolm's review here
"I wish “How Not to Plan” had been around when I got into the industry, but having read it cover to cover many years later, I still learned a lot. I will be buying it for everyone in my team, and recommend it to every single one of you."
Partner at Mother London
Read Katie's review here
"Les Binet and Sarah Carter aren’t here to sell you on some cure-all, win-all universal theory of life, planning, the universe and everything. They just want you to fuck up a little less often."
Head of Planning at W+K Amsterdam
Read Martin's review here
"But I’d urge you to suspend your cynicism. Quite simply, these are the most important and inspiring 300 pages you’re likely to read in the next 12 months."
Chief Strategy Officer at Publicis
Read Dom's review here
"This is a marketing book for marketers of all hues, a “how to” guide leading you through all stages of the process. Given that the authors show us how to guide creative development with with care and optimise advertising with nuance, I’d argue researchers will benefit from reading it most."